First, a quick reminder of what a Faraday cage is, and how it works to protect electronic devices/components.
A Faraday cage or sometimes called a Faraday shield is an enclosure that is formed from conductive materials. The material can also be mesh as long as it is conductive material. The material blocks external static and non-static electric fields. It does so by channeling electricity along and around, but not through the enclosure. The conductive material provides constant voltage on all sides of the enclosure.
Faraday cages are named after Michael Faraday an English scientist who invented the cage in 1836.
The cages can be as big or as small as you want, but as you begin building one, you may discover other items that need to go inside, so build one big enough from the onset to accommodate items that you may have overlooked. You can of course, build multiple cages so they are mobile and can be utilized in more than one location.
What Should Go Inside a Faraday Cage?
Thousands of devices that include equipment and gear could be destroyed by an EMP. However, you have to decide what is necessary for survival after an EMP attack, so you do have to prioritize.
Communicate Educate and Illuminate
Communicating with others and being able to monitor for information is essential after any kind of attack that would damage or destroy the power grid. Start by adding communication/monitoring devices to your Faraday cage.
- Hand held Two-Way radios and all charging devices and cords
- Ham radios along with charging devices/cords, microphones and certain antenna components along with any external speakers
- Citizens Band (CB) radios and all charging devices along with externally connected antenna
- Battery operated and/or hand crank/solar powered radio(s) along with batteries
- Cell Phone (more than one), extra batteries, charging cords
- Police Scanner
Once the grid goes down you will need reference materials, books, and pamphlets on everything from emergency first aid, to how to can/preserve foods to identifying edible plants for example. The best storage devices would be electronic because of the number of books and manuals that can stored on a handheld device.
- Smart phones/tablet/E-Reader and even a laptop computers can store numerous reference materials for survival include all charging cords, USB cables and so on
- Newer flashlights will have circuitry inside that could be damaged, and if in doubt put them inside the cage along with batteries and LED bulbs, which can be damaged by an EMP
- If you have rechargeable flashlights or other lights make sure all charging cords are inside the cage along with the devices
You will need a way of recharging all devices once an EMP strikes. Batteries are fine in the short-term, but they do lose their charge, so you need a way of sustaining a charge or directly powering your devices.
- Solar panel with charging station and all converters and cables such as USB
- Extra batteries for electronic devices to include vehicle batteries, jump boxes, and all charging cords so you can charge/recharge power converters and battery jump boxes
- Power strips
Tools and Materials
- Rechargeable hand tools such as drills and saws (reciprocating saw for example) and power screwdrivers, just to name a few. Include all charging stations, extra batteries and cords
- Small electric motors can be used to create electricity in some cases when used with wind turbines for example. To do this takes some skill, and even though you may not have the skill someone else may, so consider small to even large electric motors that could be used at some point to generate electricity. You have to keep an eye on the future when preparing.
- Various electronic components, diodes, capacitors and so on for future use. Keep in mind you may not have all of what you need but combined with what others may have you could unite materials and knowledge gained from others during a crisis.
- Night Vision optic devices such as scopes and goggles to include cameras that are battery operated/rechargeable. Night vision devices do require batteries so any device that needs batteries would need to go inside the cage
- Game Cameras
- Watches and their batteries and/or a solar powered watch
- USB drives that contain all of your personal documents and other storage devices for future use
- Plug in headphones/speakers
- Electric/rechargeable toothbrushes
- Electric/rechargeable shavers and hairs clippers
- Certain medical devices such as blood sugar testers, portable oxygen generators and so on
- Solar and/or battery operated calculators
- Portable DVD player
- Small digital camera
The list of things would be endless so it is important that you carefully consider each item and its use during a crisis. Room inside any cage would be limited, and ask yourself if you had to evacuate could you take the cages and devices with you. It is conceivable that there would be follow up EMP attacks so your devices and any created after the first attack would have to be shielded for an extended period.